Spenser Confidential (2020, dir. Peter Berg)

A Boston ex-cop, fresh from jail, partners with his new roommate to unravel the conspiracy that led to his imprisonment. A loose adaptation of a post-Robert B Parker Spenser novel, and not a good one. A by-the-numbers comedy thriller that doesn’t do its characters justice, despite a decent cast.

The House of the Devil (2009, dir. Ti West)

A student takes a babysitting job for an unusual couple. Stylish and well-acted autumnal horror film, with a well-designed 70s aesthetic and some great shock moments. Simple in story terms, but works well through a combination of quirky casting, sustained dread, and third act delivery on its promise.

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019, dir. Tim Miller)

A young woman is targeted for termination; an augmented soldier is sent as a protector. This alt-timeline sequel (ignoring all but the first two films) is for series fans only. Some OK action, nice ideas and good jokes, but no purpose, some handwavey plotting, and too much weightless CG tomfoolery instead of grounded mayhem.

Here’s another review.

The Invisible Man (2020, dir. Leigh Whannell)

A domestic abuse survivor believes her supposedly dead ex-partner is still tormenting her. Superior if contrived genre flick that uses its slightly awkward premise to make some relevant points before kicking into full-on gear late on. Not sure the climax plays wholly fair, but the movie works well, in no small part due to smart direction and its lead.

Padre [AKA The Padre] (2018, dir. Jonathan Sobol)

A young Columbian woman partners with an English conman in exchange for help with getting into the US. Decent little road movie/chase thriller with some quirky aspects and excellent location shooting. No game-changer, but a solid cast keeps things moving along.

Brahms: The Boy II (2020, dir. William Brent Bell)

A family recovering from trauma rent a rural property on the grounds where a tragedy occurred. Predictable bloodless jumpscare sequel that struggles to reconfigure its villain, rules and premise from Part I. The dependable Ralph Ineson glowers in support as a gamekeeper.

Extracurricular (2018, dir. Ray Xue)

Four high-achieving teens collaborate on a series of thrill kills; a world-weary cop investigates. Minor but good-looking autumnal horror flick with some smart ideas and fresh approaches to old situations. Works well within its limitations, and achieves its modest ambitions well.